According to its creators, "Tusk is not 'children's theatre' but entertainment for all ages. It is a universal story of humanity and survival told by a family of elephants taken from their home in the rainforest and forcibly turned into circus performers. Tusk is a compelling story of social significance that will challenge your sense of humankind."
Tusk has a book by Steven Billing, Norman Rea and Steven Yuhasz; music by Bryon Sommers; lyrics by Norman Rea; with additional music by David Salih & Craig Strang. The original story and additional lyrics are by Steven Billing.
The story "is told by a company of actors who never become elephants, but engage the audience through the use of shadows and silhouettes," according to production notes. "This evocative and powerful musical is an absorbing and thought-provoking journey enhanced by the audiences' imagination."
Creator Norman Rea said in a statement, "The musical tells the story of mankind through a family of endangered elephants. It's the story of all of us and the universal struggles of life."
Director and co-book writer Steven Yuhasz said, "Tusk follows a family of elephants from the rainforest as they struggle to survive separation, slavery and loss as circus performers. It also shows the parallel between our lives and those of the elephants." The writers consulted Carol Buckley, Director of The Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald, Tennessee during the creation of Tusk, a Musical.
The musical debuted in fall 2003 at Empire State Plaza for the Performing Arts, The Egg in Albany, New York.
Yuhasz directs the work. Musical supervision is by Bryon Sommers, musical direction is by Seth Weinstein, choreography is by Jennifer Paulson Lee. Shadow choreography is by Dallas McCurley, with lighting by Herrick Goldman.
The cast includes Ashley Arnold, Sandra Bargman, Marnie Baumer, Charles Bergell, Darryl E. Calmese Jr., Stacey Haughton, Val Moranto, Will Perez, Heidi Stallings, Chris Vasquez, Paul Robert Verhoest Jr. and Billy Wheelan.
Performances play The 47th Street Theatre, 304 W. 47th Street, off Eighth Avenue. Show times are Sept. 18 at 8 PM, Sept. 19 at 1 PM, Sept. 21 at 8 PM, Sept. 26 at 1 PM, Sept. 29 at 1 PM, Sept. 30 at 8 PM.
All seats are $15 and are available through at (212) 352 3101.